It is easy to get overwhelmed by the everyday and lose control of your thoughts, actions and purpose. And, while it feels good to cross items of that ever-increasing to-do list and de-clutter your inboxes like a pro, it is just as important (if not more) to take a few minutes to escape from pending notifications and re-focus on yourself. Practicing mindfulness, or paying attention to your thoughts and feelings in the present moment, is an easy way to upgrade your life. According to the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, practicing mindfulness can help boost your immune system, enhance your memory and foster better relationships. If all that sounds good to you, then take a break from conquering that to-do list for a few minutes and download the following apps to put yourself on the path toward more mindful living.
1. Happier: For times when it seems easier to focus on the negative, try choosing happiness instead. Use the Happier app as a gratitude journal to record the happy moments of your day and (if you choose to) share them with a supportive community of other people who have also decided to choose happiness.
2. MindSurf: It’s time for a mental check-in. How are you feeling right now? It might feel weird to randomly reflect on your feelings right now, but with some practice using the MindSurf app, it will become easier over time to tap into your true feelings. The MindSurf app sends you a series of questions at random times throughout the day to help you become clearer about the things in life that are truly important to you.
DL It: Free on iOS
3. Smiling Mind: Although the Smiling Mind app was developed by a team of psychologists with expertise in youth and adolescent therapy, the Smiling Mind wellness program provides mindfulness meditation options for people of all ages. In just a few minutes each day, this app will put a smile on your mind no matter if you are age 7, 27, or 97.
4. Headspace: The choice is yours when it comes to Headspace. Learn how to apply mindfulness to your life by selecting from a collection of meditations that suit your mood, lifestyle and time preference. Unsure where to start? Learn the basics of meditation with the app’s free Take10 program in just 10 minutes a day. Hey, if it’s good enough for Emma Watson, it’s good enough for us.
5. Calm: Do something more with your lunch break than eating a sad sandwich. Instead, try out one of these awesome lunch options and spend a few minutes with a guided meditation session courtesy of the Calm app. If you want more zen in your life after that, try out their “7 Days of Calm” program to learn the basics of mindful meditation.
What are some things you do to re-focus during a busy day? Share your self-care tips with us in the comments.